Vanderford Sr., Robert Marshall

Robert Marshall Vanderford, Sr., age 74, of South Fulton, TN, passed away Wednesday, June 19, 2019, 10:10 a.m., at Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital of Paducah, KY.

Robert was a member of Highway 45-East Church of Christ. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force, serving during the Vietnam Conflict.

Robert was a graduate of South Fulton High School East and attended Lane College, Murray State University, and Draughon’s Business College where he received a degree in business administration. He then attended and graduated from the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science in Louisville, KY, where he became a license funeral director and embalmer. He later also became certified in both Illinois and Tennessee. Robert retired from the former Good Year Tire & Rubber Company. He was the former owner and operator of Vanderford Funeral Home in South Fulton, TN from 1971 to 2004. He most recently served as a funeral director, embalmer, and cremation specialist with Pettus-Rowland Funeral Home of Paducah, KY.

Robert spent his adulthood in the Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons as a member and Past Master of Jacksonville Lodge #50, Rajah Temple #92 in Hopkinsville, TN, and Zarah Temple #151 in Jackson, TN. He was also a member of the Marshall Alexander American Legion Post #72, Ram Rod Motorcycle Club, Inc., Ken-Teen Golfers, S.O.A.R., the Twin Cities Men’s Fish & Wild Meat Group, and a life-member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Robert was an active member of the Kentucky Associations of Morticians, The Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky, West Kentucky Funeral Directors and the Tennessee Funeral Directors Association.

Robert is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Mrs. Beverly Jean McKinney Vanderford.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Fayette Marshall (F.M.) Vanderford and Hattie Robert Bethea (H.B.), his father-in-law, Wardell (Buster) Johnson and his mother-in-law, Gwendolyn (Pete) Johnson.

Friends may call at Bells Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church located at 301 North Highland Drive, Fulton, KY, on Sunday, June 23, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and again on Monday, June 24, 2019, from 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

A Service of Love and Celebration will be held at the church on Monday at 11:00 A.M. with Reverend Dr. Darvin Adams and Elder Curtis McLendon presiding. A private burial with military honors will follow at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, Robert’s last wish was for family and friends to donate blood to the American Red Cross within the next 30 days in memory of Robert M. Vanderford, Sr., and document their donations on “Roberts Last Wish” facebook page. Those wishing to honor his memory, but are unable to donate blood are encouraged to make financial donations to the American Red Cross, 4635 Falcon Dr., Paducah, KY 42001. You may also make donations to the following: The Honor Scholarships, C/C Felicia Lightner, 117 3rd St., South Fulton, TN 38257; Patient Advocate Foundations Co-Payment Relief Program, 421 Butler Farm Road, Hampton, VA 23666; Ken-Tenn Homecoming and Reunion Association, P.O. Box 1131, Fulton, KY 42041.

You may light a candle or leave condolences online at

Pettus-Rowland Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Published 12:00 AM, Thursday Jun. 20, 2019
Updated 12:34 PM, Thursday Jun. 20, 2019

Pettus-Rowland Funeral Home, Inc.
1229 Madison Street
Paducah, Kentucky



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